Hearing loss is permanent. Once the damage is done, there’s no cure. Give your ears a battering today and you might not notice any effects tomorrow. But noise-induced hearing loss is caused by repeated exposures to loud noise over many years.
Noise is a particular problem on construction sites. Many construction tasks, tools and equipment produce high noise levels which can lead to hearing problems. Over 30% of New Zealand workers are exposed to loud noise at work at least a quarter of the time. This will be higher in construction.
Working in noisy environments is also associated with an increased risk of heart disease and has the potential to become a workplace safety risk if workers are not able to hear instructions, moving vehicles and equipment.
The good news is noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. So what can you do to prevent it?
Providing adequate hearing protection, removing the noise entirely, quietening the noise, stopping the noise from reaching people and reducing the time of exposure to the noise are some ways.
Find out more about noise in construction and how to manage it on WorkSafe’s website.